Friday, February 24, 2006

As a Sales Professional, How do you know you have become an “Expert”?

By: Kevin Barrett

Or, Do we ever really become an “Expert”… at anything?

This question was posed to me awhile back.

I listened and contemplated the myriad of answers.

The answers ranged from the old standards like, “An expert is anyone that is 60 miles away from home.” I guess that answer is derived from a “Prophet is rarely ever accepted in their home town.”

Others commented that an “Expert” knows their area of expertise intimately.

Well, my take on this is that the world is changing at a very fast pace. When I was in Research and Development, the “Development Window” (Time from idea conception to commercialization) was 7 years.

Today, that “Development Window” is for the most part 18 months, and shrinking.

So, How does this impact the Sales Professional?

Notice, I have used the word “Professional”. Small distinction from Sales Person, but the power of that word is this… a “Professional” we tend to treat our careers as a true “Profession”. A sales person tends to treat their career as, well, I guess, like an employee. A True Professional takes the Responsibility, the lead, for their development.

I guess that means we are continually BE coming, that professional. BE coming, that “Expert”

An expert…..Strives for personal and professional excellence. To be the best they can be for others, you must first be the best they can be for themselves (Remember, we are the most important person in our world.)

They become a master of attitude, a master of goals, a master of belief in themselves, a master of achievement actions, and seek a daily dose of what’s new. From the school of N.L.P., comes the four levels of learning.

Unconscious Incompetence - You don’t know, you don’t know. If you have never seen a car, you would not know you did not know how to drive a car.

Conscious Incompetence - You know, you don’t know. Now you have seen a car for the first time, you know you don’t know how to drive the car.

Conscious Competence - If you concentrate on what you are doing, you can do it. You are learning to drive now and as long as you remember to put in the clutch and watch the road etc. you can drive.

Unconscious Competence - You do not have to think about what you are doing, you can do it. It is like being on automatic pilot. You can now drive, listen to the radio, carry on a conversation and still stop at a red light. (most times!)

I believe there is a fifth level of learning, which I have called:

Super-conscious Competence - You are now able to link up to other areas in your Unconscious Competency data base and create NEW creative responses. That response is the perfect response for any given situation.

Those who operate at this level are the true “Masters of Life” and the true “Masters of their Professions”.

This is the Level that truly denotes BE coming an “Expert”.

The expert does not always know all the answers, but they are able to take, what they do know, and come up with the perfect….. quantum response… from their information “Data Base”…

Taking what you know as well as “Breathing” (Unconscious Competency) and being able to “Breath New Life” (Super Conscious Competency) into someone… that can not breath on their own…. And save their life.

Under that perspective, I guess, I will forever BE coming an Expert… as I continue to learn and add to my Unconscious Competence “Data Base”

This is what a true “Sales Professional” does. They learn “Professional Sales Techniques” place them into their “Unconscious Competency” data base, and “Create” new creative, quantum solutions, from the Fifth State of Competency… Super Conscious Competence.

Kevin Barrett

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